On October 5th, 2019, the giant Johan Sverdrup field in Norway started Phase 1 production, over two months ahead of schedule and 30% below the initial budget. Initial plateau production was 440,000 barrels of oil per day and has during the first production year been upgraded to 500 k bbl/d. The development of Phase 2 is already underway and is expected to boost the field’s production capacity to 755,000 barrels of oil per day when it comes on stream by the end of 2022. Total added an 8.44% interest in Johan Sverdrup to its portfolio with the Group’s acquisition of Maersk Oil in 2018, and is working with Equinor, the operator with 42.63%, Lundin Norway (20%), Petoro (17.36%), and Aker BP (11.57%).
Johan Sverdrup, located 150 kilometers off the Norwegian coast, is one of the five largest oil fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). With recoverable resources of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, it is one of the most important industrial projects in Norway over the next 50 years. At peak, the output will constitute 25% of all Norwegian petroleum production.
The field will be supplied by electrical power generated onshore, which gives it a significant ecological edge over most traditional offshore projects of its kind. Total E&P Norge Managing Director Phil Cunningham says: "The start-up of the Johan Sverdrup field development is really great news. This giant project represents low carbon intensity and low-cost production from a great partnership". The aim is to reduce the generation of climate gases by 80%—90% compared to a standard development utilizing offshore gas turbines. It is one of the world's top three offshore projects for carbon emission efficiency, with average CO2 emissions of only 0.67 kg per barrel. The emission savings are estimated at 460,000 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to annual emissions from 230,000 private cars.
Norway's longest oil pipeline was installed right next to the riser platform at the Johan Sverdrup field in 2018. The 36-inch pipeline extends 283 kilometers from the Mongstad oil terminal outside Bergen to the giant field in the North Sea. In 2018, three jackets, two topsides, one bridge, over 400 km of pipelines, and 200 km of power cables, were installed in one of the busiest installation campaigns ever carried out for a project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Johan Sverdrup field facts and figures
- Located on the Utsira Height in the North Sea, 150 kilometers west of Stavanger.
- Oil from the field will be piped to the Mongstad terminal, north of Bergen. Gas will be transported via Statpipe to the Kårstø processing plant, north of Stavanger.
- Peak production estimated to reach 755,000 barrels of oil daily when Phase 2 is on stream.
- The water depth is 110-120 meters and the reservoir is located at a depth of 1,900 meters.
- The field will be operated by electricity generated onshore.
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The Johan Sverdrup field centre, North Sea, Norway
Driller at the Johan Sverdrup field, North Sea, Norway
Mongstad crude oil terminal, Norway
Johan Sverdrup platform, North Sea, Norway
Installation of the riser platform topsides at night on Johan Sverdrup field